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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A vote to accept the LGBTQ community is putting a North Texas Baptist congregation at the center of controversy within its own church denomination.
Members of the church voted 61 percent in favor of allowing LGBTQ members to get married, baptized and become church leaders.
“I will tell you this is the most difficult conversation I’ve ever experienced,” said Pastor Mark Wingfield.
The 14-month process of research lead to a vote on Sunday that is now being met with zero support from the guiding body that oversees Baptist churches in Texas.
The Baptist General Convention of Texas recently sent a letter to inform the church is was “on notice,” ahead of the vote.
On Monday night following the announcement of the vote, BGCT issued the following statement:
“Texas Baptists have a longstanding and often reaffirmed biblical position on human sexuality and marriage. We are saddened by the outcome of Wilshire’s vote, and their withdrawal from harmonious cooperation with the churches of the Convention.”
Wingfield said he wants the decision to not be about who is excluded, but about who is now being included.
“I want to open my arms to as many people as possible and say, you’re welcome here,” said Wingfield.
BGCT member are meeting in Waco and could vote Tuesday on whether to end its relationship with Wilshire Baptist.
If that is decided, the church would remain but the convention would stop accepting funding from the church.